As a vegetarian, there are plenty of products marketed to me as substitutes for barbecues. There are frozen soy barbecue "ribs", refrigerated packages of barbecue tofu, and bottles of vegetarian BBQ sauces, etc. But I don't buy any of them. A simple barbecue sauce is very easy to make, and that way I can control the ingredients.
Above my sauce is pictured with firm grilled tofu and below I used it when baking tempeh. You will notice that when using tofu, the sauce isn't absorbed very much. Whereas, tempeh absorbs all of the sauce as it cooks. If you want your tempeh to be saucier, either make a larger batch of the sauce, or add some water to the sauce.
Easy Vegetarian Barbecue Tofu or Tempeh
1 package of tofu or tempeh, cut into thin slices if needed (see photos for guidance)
1 tablespoon agave nectar
1 teaspoon (or more for spicier) chipotle habanero pepper sauce OR your favorite spicy sauce OR chili powder OR a dash of cayenne pepper
3 tablespoons walnut oil or other oil
1 tablespoon Shoyu or Tamari or soy sauce
2 tablespoons vinegar: brown rice or apple cider vinegar or other vinegar
2 cloves garlic, minced
optional ingredients: a tablespoon of your favorite mustard; 1 teaspoon of cumin, oregano or your favorite spice; and/or a bit of minced ginger and minced onion; water to thin the sauce if using tempeh and want it saucier
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. In the pan you will be baking the tempeh or tofu, stir together the barbecue sauce ingredients (no extra dirty dishes!).
3. Coat both sides of the tempeh or tofu with the sauce. Lay the slices of tofu or tempeh in a single layer in the baking pan and bake for 20 to 30 minutes, turning/flipping over at least once in the middle of baking.
NOTE: the tempeh I used is Artie's Tempeh, made in Gainesville, FL and the package comes with four servings.